Grant notches two saves on the day, now five shy of tying NCAA Division III record
AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Wheaton College baseball team, ranked No. 17 in the latest D3baseball.com national poll, swept a doubleheader against Saint Joseph's College of Maine on Sunday afternoon at Lake Myrtle Field. The Lyons took game one by a 5-2 score and also earned a 3-1 victory in the second contest.
Wheaton 5, St. Joseph's (Maine) 2
Junior right-hander Mike Gibbons (Simsbury, Conn./Avon Old Farms) allowed just one hit, two unearned runs, one walk and whiffed six batters over seven innings of work to notch his first victory of the season for the Lyons. Gibbons took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before giving up a base knock to the sixth batter he faced in the frame. Sophomore reliever Eric Dumas (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) tossed a clean eighth inning and senior closer Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Avon Old Farms) used a double play ball and a fly out to register his first of two saves on the afternoon.
Monks' senior starter Lincoln Sanborn (Standish, Maine/Bonny Eagle) was left with a no-decision on seven innings, six hits, two runs (both earned), a pair of walks and a game-high eight punchouts. Junior lefty Dan Meeken (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) took the loss in relief.
Tied 2-2 in the top of the eighth, junior outfielder Tyler Contillo (Montville, Conn./Montville) provided the game-winning hit by slicing an opposite field three-run double down the third base line plating Justin Peluso (North Reading, Mass./Saint John's Prep), Brett Fontaine (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport) and Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical).
The scoring materialized in the frame as Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) reached base on a fielding error and De La Cruz worked a five-pitch walk to put runners on first and second with no outs. Sophomore Mike Beneduce (North Kingstown, R.I./Moses Brown School) followed with a successful sacrifice bunt to the pitcher with two strikes to advance both runners into scoring position. St. Joseph's (Maine) opted to intentionally walk Fontaine for the force out at any base. The Monks strategy paid off in Wheaton's next at-bat as Lavanchy was put out at home by the pitcher on a bunt attempt up the third base line. Contillo then came through with the bases clearing double fighting off a 1-2 pitch on the inner half of the plate.
Freshman Max McCoomb (South Berwick, Maine/Marshwood) evened the score in the fifth with a two-run single through the right side, while the Lyons received an RBI single to right-center from De La Cruz in the first and senior outfielder Kevin Foley (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) also scored on a wild pitch in the fifth after leading off the inning with a single up the middle.
Wheaton 3, St. Joseph's (Maine) 1
Freshman lefty Michael Bruemmel (Bridgewater, Mass./Bridgewater-Raynham) took a perfect game into the sixth in his collegiate debut before yielding a base hit through the left side of the infield. Bruemmel finished the contest with the win on seven-and-one-third innings pitched, two hits, one run (unearned), one walk and a game-high eight strikeouts. Junior Mike Bisceglia (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) erased a first and third situation with one out in the eighth on a grounder to third and a fly out to right field. Grant completed his second save of the afternoon rolling over two ground outs including a 6-4-3 game-ending double play.
St. Joseph's (Maine) junior right-hander Alex Valenti (Lawrence, Mass./Central Catholic) suffered the loss on six innings, eight hits, three runs (two earned), two walks and six punchouts.
Wheaton scored solo runs in the first, fourth and fifth innings, while Bruemmel set down the Monks' lineup in 1-2-3 fashion for five consecutive frames compiling six strikeouts, four ground outs and five fly outs during that span. In the fourth, Peluso kept the then-perfect game alive with a nifty bare-handed grab on a bunt attempt down the third base line and went on to complete a successful throw across the diamond to De La Cruz at first.
De La Cruz ripped a run-producing single up the middle in the first and Fontaine laced an RBI triple to right-center in the fifth the scoring plays.
Wheaton (4-0) plays No. 8 ranked Webster University tomorrow at 5 p.m. in Winter Haven, Fla. at Chain of Lakes Stadium. The Monks takes on The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) on Monday at 9 a.m.